Learning To Dive in Fiji

This post was written by Matt Kepnes. All photos used were taken by me.


I’ve always wanted to learn how to scuba dive. When I started traveling, I promised myself I’d learn to dive. It had always been a life long desire of mine- to explore the world under the sea. All the beautiful pictures I saw of life underwater, the stories from other travelers, the bonds they seemed to share after a dive trip- all of it made me excited to learn to dive. But then trips to Australia passed. Visits to islands in Thailand turned into snorkeling trips. I always found an excuse to not to dive. I didn’t have the time, the money, I had other things to do, or I didn’t have anyone to go with. There was always an excuse!

And why?

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Thoughts on Fiji: 2010 Edition

Fijian boy from the island of Waya
Fijian boy from the island of Waya
Here are a collection of random thoughts about my current trip to Fiji:

– The tourism industry, especially the budget tourism industry, is expanding. This time around I noticed that Base Backpackers, the big hostel chain from New Zealand, is now in Fiji. The FeeJeeExperience, which is owned by the same company which does the KiwiExperience and the OzExperience. There are skydiving and other extreme sports options now available in Fiji as well. The percentage of 20-something Europeans I met in the Yasawas this time was much larger than my 2007 trip. They even have a Hard Rock Cafe at the harbor in Nadi. Everything seems much more mature from a business perspective.

– There are very few Americans here. I’ve met tons of Europeans but hardly any Americans. Almost all the Europeans are on a similar path where they either were just at Australia/New Zealand or are going there next. In fact, almost all the 20-somethings seem to be taking the same general trip. Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and LA. I still recommend the Yasawas as a destination, especially if you’ve never been there before, but when I return to Fiji next time, I’m going to a different part of the country.

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Back in the Saddle Again: Fiji Edition

The life of a travel blogger isn't all fun and games...oh, wait, yes it is
The life of a travel blogger isn't all fun and games...oh, wait, yes it is
As I write this, I am laying on a hammock with my laptop on my chest about 10m (30ft) from the shore of the Pacific Ocean on the island of Naviti in Fiji. While I’m enjoying the weather here much more than the freezing temperatures I left behind in Wisconsin, the purpose of this post is not to rub it in to those back home (although I desperately do want to do that too).

Prior to departing Los Angeles for Fiji last Sunday (and completely deleting January 11 from my life as I crossed the International Date line) I’d had been in the United States for the previous five month. While I had spent the majority of that time traveling, it wasn’t traveling in the same sense as I am traveling now or I had been traveling the previous 2.5 years. The only thing I had to deal with traveling in the US were gas prices and motel rooms. I didn’t have issues of language, culture or extreme distances to deal with. I was on the road, but it was fundamentally different.

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Episode 4 – I Dream of Fiji

I shot a lot of video when I was in the Pacific. This is the first of what will be occasional episodes where I share some of the footage I took. This was taken on Waya Lailai island in the Yawasawa Islands in Fiji.

McFiji

I finally got the chance to visit a McDonald’s in Fiji. I had to look closely, but what I noticed was definitely a reflection of what makes up modern Fiji. The first thing to notice was that there were six different value meals available. Big Mac, double cheeseburger, chicken sandwich, fish sandwich, chicken nuggets, and …

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Suva Monday

My visa application at the Kiribati embassy went smoothly. I got it done in under one hour. Believe it not, it was the first visa I’ve applied for. (I decided to not apply to China in Samoa. I’m going to apply when I’m closer to China and know my itinerary better.) I visited the University …

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Back to Fiji II

I’m writing in Suva, Fiji. I got in at 6:30am and a day added with my 5th crossing of the dateline on my trip. I spent the morning driving to Suva and am writing at what is, by far, the nicest internet cafe I’ve encountered on my trip. Tomorrow moring I’ll get to the Kiribati …

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And the winner is…..Impetigo!

So, after much review, I think what I have is called Impetigo. Here is how it’s described by the Mayo Clinic website: Impetigo starts as a red sore that quickly ruptures, oozes for a few days and then forms a yellowish-brown crust that looks like honey or brown sugar. The disease is highly contagious, and …

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Fiji Winding Down

I’m at the airport in Nadi waiting for my 1:30am flight back across the International Date Line to Apia, Samoa. I figure I’ll upate the old web site. I have a lot to say, but I’ll save it for when I can post from my laptop, where I’ve been writing all week. I’m leving Fiji …

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